DPW to Install Traffic Island Near Farm Lane
A 30-day trial island will be installed within a week to help alleviate traffic concerns near Pleasant Valley Road and Conifer Lane.
Discussions on how to alleviate traffic congestion from the High Street/Rte. 109 area in Westwood have been ongoing for quite a while now.
The bulk of those conversations have revolved around traffic-calming measures for the Dover Road and Conant Road area, which bears the brunt of spillover traffic from High Street during peak commuting hours. More recently, officials opted to look into how to alleviate traffic on Rte. 109 from Summer Street all the way to Lowder Brook Drive.
Now attention has been turned to the intersection at Farm Lane, Pleasant Valley Road and Conifer Lane, where the Westwood Department of Public Works has proposed the installation of a traffic island to help alleviate traffic concerns.
"There are traffic concerns on both sides of Rte. 109," DPW Deputy Director Chris Gallagher explained to the Westwood Board of Selectmen Monday night. "The intersection that we're focused on […] it's a large intersection. There's a lot of asphalt there. [Drivers] cut that corner from Farm Lane. It's a safety concern."
The DPW has enlisted Beta Group, Inc. to come up with a plan to help alleviate the issue; the proposed island would force drivers to slow down when turning at the intersection, as they would have to drive around the island. Beta is the same group the DPW hired to design traffic-calming measures for the area of Dover and Conant Roads.
"It is right now in its concept phase," Gallagher said of the island.
But the Selectmen on Monday gave the green light for the DPW to engage in a 30-day trial phase of the island as early as possible.
The hope is to be able to conduct an analysis of the island's effects on traffic before the end of the school year on June 18, so as to make evaluations based on school bus traffic. Moreover, it would be easier to compile data before traffic decreases for the summer months.
"The timing on this is really very important," Selectmen Third Member Nancy Hyde said Monday night. "Getting feed back to the DPW is very important. Now's the time to adjust it and tweak it."
Additionally, Selectmen Clerk Pat Ahearn recommended the installation of road signs to add a visual element for drivers in that area. Ultimately there could be a sign on the island itself, officials said.
"I suggest to you to put some temporary signage up and make people aware that there are changes in that intersection," Ahearn said, to which Gallagher agreed.
Officials will discuss the effects of the island on traffic upon completion of the 30-day trial phase.